Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 00 plus 12

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

A visit from St Nicholasby Clement Clarke Moore



'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;



The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;



The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,



But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.



And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.



But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

dancing through our memories

December has returned, with it's twinkling lights and festive music. the seasons do pass. In three weeks the days will start to get longer as the dance toward Summer begins anew. Presuming that we survive the Mayan apocalypse of course. Wait a minute, didn't the Pope just say that Dennis the Small screwed up the dates in the Middle Ages. The Mayan Apocalypse has already come and gone. Ok let us celebrate.

Life is a series of long days that make up a short year, and an even shorter lifetime. We are just dancing through our memories. We are just a bunch of memories really, funny thing though is that our memories are malleable, they change based on the mood that we are in when we recall them. Holidays memories have a special flavor because we place so much meaning on them, "I am dreaming of a White Christmas". 

Friday, November 30, 2012

overnight really

James Chartrand explains overnight success


Before becoming an overnight success, so-and-so made a crucial decision: to go after what he wanted. To work at it hard. To pursue it. To put in the time, the energy and the effort.
Then so-and-so actually began the process. He followed through.

No one notices so-and-so and his work in the beginning. He isn’t a recognized household name. He isn’t a popular innovator of some awesome product. He doesn’t have a big list of fans or followers or important networking contacts.

He starts with nothing but him, his idea and his work.

Then one day, someone notices. Someone pays attention. Someone points this so-and-so out to someone else. And so the attention begins to spread.

All of a sudden, Mr. So-and-so gets noticed by more people, and more, and more until there’s an avalanche of attention coming his way. Out of the blue. As if this person sprung out of nowhere.

Overnight, even.

But the only thing that truly happened overnight was the willingness to try and the decision to put in the work. And that’s something anyone can do.

anticipation

Seth explains anticipation

When you work with anticipation, you will highlight the highs. You'll double down on the things that will delight and push yourself even harder to be bold and to create your version of art. If this is going to work, might as well build something that's going to be truly worth building.
 ...
Not only is it more fun to work with anticipation, it's often a self-fulfilling point of view.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Make it happen


Donald Latumahina has a very engaging post about how to think




Think and act like a winner

1. Don’t make excuses
2. Be comfortable being uncomfortable
3. Have a strong desire to perform and excel
4. Focus; one step at a time
5. Don’t dwell on past mistakes
6. Know your window of opportunity
7. Adapt
9. Be humble
10. Master throttle control
11. Prepare for contingencies
12. Be a team player
13. Stack the odds in your favor

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The real question

Rosabeth Moss Kanter answers the real question, when to persist and when to cut your losses


are 12 key questions that can help you decide whether it should be shut down or helped through the messy middle:
  1. Are the initial reasons for the effort still valid, with no consequential external changes?
  2. Do the needs for which this a solution remain unmet, or are competing solutions still unproven or inadequate?
  3. Would the situation get worse if this effort stopped?
  4. Is it more cost-effective to continue than to pay the costs of restarting?
  5. Is the vision attracting more adherents?
  6. Are leaders still enthusiastic, committed, and focused on the effort?
  7. Are resources available for continuing investment and adjustments?
  8. Is skepticism and resistance declining?
  9. Is the working team motivated to keep going?
  10. Have critical deadlines and key milestones been met?
  11. Are there signs of progress, in that some problems have been solved, new activities are underway, and trends are positive?
  12. Is there a concrete achievement — a successful demonstration, prototype, or proof of concept?
If the answers are mostly Yes, then don't give up. Figure out what redirection is needed, strategize your way over obstacles, reengage the team, answer the critics, and argue for more time and resources. Everything worth doing requires tenacity.

If the answers trend toward No, as seems likely for Airtime, then cut your losses and move on. Persistence doesn't mean being pig-headed.
"You've got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them," Kenny Rogers sang in a famous song about playing poker. That's good advice for any leader struggling with change. It's a mistake to give up prematurely, because the middle is always messy. But be sure to heed the 12 guidelines to choose between persistence or pulling out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Both believe in future that hasn't happened yet

 Jon Gordon's answer is brilliant



I would say that now more than ever we have a choice between fear or faith. Interestingly enough, fear and faith have one thing in common. They both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet. Faith believes in a positive future. Fear believes in a negative future. Yet, neither has happened yet so why wouldn’t we choose to believe in a positive future. Why wouldn’t we believe that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. I have found that if we believe our best days are behind us, THEY ARE. And if we believe our best days are ahead of us, THEY ARE. What we believe matters. Don’t let fear paralyze you. You may be facing a challenging time right now, however, when you believe in a positive future you take the actions necessary to create it. I have met a lot of people and companies that are thriving in today’s economy and they are the ones who are staying positive, outworking the competition, increasing their market presence and working with passion and purpose. If they can do it so can you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Strategy of Choice

David Burkus explains strategy,

The “strategy as addition” mentality is persistent, despite it’s lack of effectiveness. It persists because the reality of strategy is much harder to engage with. At its core, strategy is about choice. Strategic planning is about looking at trends in the environment, as well as past results, and making deliberate choices about what activities to begin, what activities to continue, and what activities must be ceased. These choices are hard to make. No one wants to stare down a fork in the road at two unknown paths and be forced to choose. No one wants to be the one blamed for making the wrong choice.

But not choosing is a choice – it’s a choice for the status quo. It’s a choice that says, even though the environment has changed, we choose to pursue the same activities but set our sales goals a little higher. That choice may be a comfortable one to make, but it’s outcome is as unknown as the other possible paths.

Strategy as choice is uncomfortable – which is probably why discomfort is the key signal that you and your team are truly engaged in strategic planning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

In July 1969 this question would never have been asked

Alex Tabarrok offers this question,

Neil Armstrong, first moon walker, died yesterday.
In total, there have been twelve. Armstrong who was first, Peter Conrad who was 3rd, Alan Shepard who was 5th and James Irwin who was 8th, are gone, leaving just eight. Just eight of 7 billion. Alan Shepard was the oldest, he was born in 1923, the others were all born in the 1930s at a time when Orville Wright still lived. The youngest, Charles Duke, will be 77 this year.

Could we soon have an age where all the moon walkers are gone? Will children then wonder whether it happened at all?

In July 1969 we had reached out beyond our little planet and begun the journey to the stars. The possibility that one among us would not have walked among the heavens was not even a consideration.

Our place in the scale of things

Barrie Davenport brings scale to doubts

Our Place in the Cosmos

One other bit of research and learning has had a significant impact on my perspective about my life and my problems. Even though I’m a right-brained, English major, intuitive type, I’ve become fascinated with elements of quantum physics and theories on the multiverse and the discovery that the universe is expanding at a rapid rate.
I’ve trudged through a few books on the topics by Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene. I can’t intelligently articulate the theories or findings, but I do understand clearly that the cosmos around us is larger than we can imagine. Trying to comprehend it makes my brain hurt.
Look at this little statistic.
In the book The Science of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the author Mike Hanlon says, “In July 2003, scientists at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Australia announced their latest estimate for the number of stars in the Universe – 70 sextillion. That is 7 followed by a mind-boggling 22 zeros… The new estimate means that the number of stars in the visible Universe is larger – quite a bit larger, actually – than the total number of all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth…”
If you want some additional perspective on our human existence in relation to our position in the universe, take a look at this series of photographs:
Here’s our lovely Earth looking beautiful and ample, especially compared with poor Pluto, the non-planet.


Oh dear. Earth is not quite as colossal as it seems. Jupiter looks like the big bully on the planet playground.


Well, at least we know Big Daddy Sun is looking out for us, even though we’re pretty puny. Pluto is pitiful. At least we’ve got that going for us.


Uh oh. No Earth in sight.

Look at Antares and Betelgeuse.  Ever hear of them? Antares is more than 1000 light years away and the 15th brightest star in the sky. Sun is that ridiculous white speck next to the dinky orange dot.

(Source: www.iceagenow.com)
These photos represent only our solar system within our one galaxy.
But according to scientists, there are around 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) galaxies in the known universe, as far as current telescopes can detect. Some of these galaxies may hold up to 100,000,000,000 stars, but most galaxies probably contain at least 10,000,000,000 stars.

What Does it Mean?

In the scheme of things, our little problems don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. (Apologies to Humphrey Bogart.) We are a speck on a speck — times infinity.
This knowledge can be completely depressing or totally liberating. It can make you question everything you believe or get really clear about your life.
So here’s the conclusion I have reached for what it’s worth.
I have a very short time on a very small, but beautiful planet. I have many wonderful things at my disposal — people I love, interesting work, fun things to do, new things to learn every day, incredible beauty all around me.
Yes, sometimes crappy random things happen, and they disrupt my life. But I don’t want them to disrupt it any longer than they must.
I want to savor and enjoy as much of life as I possibly can every single day. I don’t want to waste a minute worrying or thinking about problems. And I want make the world better in some small way before I leave it.
That’s all I know for sure, and that’s what I intend to do.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

get by with a little help

Brant Secunda and Mark Allen explain how to Ask for help!

Train your mind to see possibilities, not limits.

We call this weight lifting for the soul. Competitive athletes and other high performers are often held back more by their negative emotions than by their mental and physical abilities. Practice letting do of thoughts that weigh you down.
Instead of “This is too hard,” let the thought be “I have all it takes to make it through.” Instead of “This is a waste of time,” ask yourself “What can I learn right now?” Instead of “I don’t have the time,” ask “How can I make my next steps a success?” Lift the weight from your soul and let the positive aspects of life become your identity.

Remedy self-doubt and discouragement with an action.
We can transform “what ifs” simply by taking action. Action creates joy, hope, and positive thoughts, and sustains our health and fitness goals. A number of studies have corroborated the fact that exercise has a positive and significant effect on people with depression. The act of moving your body, and doing it consistently, helps to counteract negative emotions, such as self-doubt, that get in the way of your competitiveness.
Bottom line: when self-doubt about reaching your destination starts to creep in and you feel you “can’t do it” or “will never get there,” there’s a simple remedy. Take action. Start moving. And do it consistently—every day.

Ask for power and energy from the earth.
At age 37 Mark went to Hawaii to defend his title as the returning World Champion, competing against other triathletes nearly half his age. In the bike portion, a 24-year-old German flew by Mark as if on a motorcycle. By the end of the bike segment he had amassed a lead of more than 13 minutes. Soon three others passed him as well. Mark was feeling defeated, discouraged, and ancient.
And then he remembered a simple tip Brant had taught him. His body and soul were already in great shape. All he needed was a little help. “Everything is alive,” Brant had told him. “The trees, the stones, the earth. Call out when you need help.” He called out to the Big Island, standing over 30,000 feet tall from its base at the ocean floor to its highest point atop Mauna Kea. Its power is undeniable. Mark called out: “Help me! I’ll give it everything I have, but I need your help!” He began to gain steam. At mile 23 of the marathon, he finally caught the leader, three miles after that he closed out his Ironman career with a sixth World Championship title in a race that would go down as the greatest comeback in Ironman history.

Competing and winning are about more than working out and working hard. Learn how to develop a calm, confident, optimistic mindset bolstered by a balanced life. A fit soul, along with a fit body, will help you succeed at anything.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How did I miss this

July 15 is National Ice Cream Day

Enjoy Ice Cream it's mandatory

Sunday, July 8, 2012

persist in all things


 Tony Ferrietti's formula for resilience


Resilience, like a muscle, grows stronger the more you use it.  But first you have to start exercising.  I recommend the acronym “CONQUER!” as a guide to working the resilience muscle.
  • C is for “Connections.”  Life is all about relationships.  Simply stated, “people need people.”  Social support and close interpersonal relationships are extremely helpful in coping.
  • Optimism is all about having a positive attitude and outlook. Keeping problems in perspective and focusing on the big picture makes the pressure not seem so overwhelming.
  • Nurture yourself.  Exercise, eat a healthy diet, get some sleep, try to relax and have fun even in the hardship.
  • Accept the Quest that can be an opportunity for personal growth, self-discovery, and character building.  Reframe the experience to recognize the benefits it can bring.
  • Choose to be Unflappable in the face of adversity.  Controlling your response is empowering and builds resilience.
  • Expect that change and stress will come.  Life never stands still.
  • Be Relentless.  Decide to persist despite the pressure.

Plant, water, weed and focus

Ivana Taylor reviews Mike Michalowicz' Pumpkin plan


STEP 1: Plant promising seeds
STEP 2: Water, Water, Water
STEP 3: As they grow, routinely remove all of the diseased or damaged pumpkins.
STEP 4: Weed like a mad dog.  Not a single green leaf or root permitted if it isn’t a pumpkin plant.
STEP 5: When they grow larger, identify the stronger, faster-growing pumpkins.  Repeat until you have one pumpkin on each vine.
STEP 6:  Focus all your attention on the big pumpkin.  Nurture it around the clock like a baby, and guard it like you would your first Mustang convertible.
STEP 7: Watch it grow.  In the last days of the season, this will happen so fast you can actually see it happen.

Round and round the wheel we go



Jessica  Hagy's interprets Pluchik's wheel  http://thisisindexed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/591px-Plutchik-wheel.svg_.png

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Explore the limits


James Altucher's insight into how to push the limits.



How do you explore your limits? I don’t know. I tried to figure out an easy formula for that for this article. But I only know what it’s like for me to explore my limits. I do it by:

-          Questioning everything. Writing if the answers come up different than I thought. (college, home, voting, Europe, war, religion, etc)

-          Writing about everything that made me feel a certain way. Or things I was ashamed of but I learned from. (failure at business, relationships, etc).

-          Not being afraid to contact people “out of my league”.

-          Exploring. Whether its spiritual. Or through reading. Or visiting a new place. Or going further in exercise. Or even trying to do nothing when expectations are to do something.

-          Considering myself an expert in anything until proven otherwise. Often I’m proven not an expert – right where my limits are.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Square changes the geometry of payments

The cashless society requires an alternate payment system. Square may be that system.

Chris Skinner discusses the Jack Dorsey's strategy

But the most outrageous part was how easy it suddenly became for anyone to accept credit cards, using a device they already owned. The process through which businesses are authorized to accept credit card payments is notoriously arduous and slow, particularly for small merchants. The issuing banks demand multiple proofs of creditworthiness and pile on extra fees. Square itself had difficulty negotiating that red tape—it took longer to get approval from Visa and Mastercard to accept a swipe than it did to create a prototype for the entire payment system. “Our sign-up process takes literally two minutes,” Dorsey says. “You download an app, put in your name and address, answer three security questions, link your bank account, and you’re done.” Andersen saw the potential. Just as Twitter democratized broadcasting, Dorsey’s new company would democratize the credit card industry. 

Henderson, the engineering lead on Pay With Square, points out that the company collects all kinds of information about its users, data that might be invaluable to merchants and customers alike. “First of all, we know your location,” he says. “Second, we have a decent sense of your history. We know the kinds of places you’ve been and what you like. But we also know lots of other things—like if there’s a whole bunch of food trucks that pull up nearby, we’ll see the spike in activity and can point you to those trucks. I think you’ll see us get really good at this.”
Analytics and data-mining might provide Square’s real business model. So far, the company has charged a very small fee for each transaction, and merchants aren’t likely to pay much more. And while Square has been giving participating merchants access to analytics about their businesses for free, it is also aggregating that data, real-time information about what people are buying in every region of the country, complete with detailed demographics. It’s reasonable to think that might be very valuable in the near future.

Raise awareness among your customers


Danielle Schlanger and Kim Bhasin highlight the fast casual juggernaut that is Chipotle. Sometimes you need to raise awareness.


Looking back at the early days of Chipotle, CMO Mark Crumpacker admitted that they overestimated how much people actually cared about animals and the environment. He had to shift its marketing.


"It turned out to essentially not be true," Crumpacker said at a conference earlier this year. "Only 20 to 30 percent of those people actually care about that stuff."
So, Chipotle had to revamp its marketing focus. Instead of only touting all the great stuff it's doing, it had to raise awareness for environmental issues and get people to care about making a difference.

Training, training and more training

Celeste Edman highlights the continual need for training


Recently, I ate at a casual Italian restaurant. I was looking forward to the experience as the owners excelled at their fine-dining Italian establishment so I was interested in their take on casual. When I arrived, I was greeted by a welcoming host. We were seated, given menus, and told our server would be right with us. So far, so good. We waited. And we waited. And, we waited. Finally, the server arrived and asked us if we were ready to order. We asked about specials. There were none. Any recommendations on a starter, we asked? "There's some bread on there that's supposed to be good", he said to us.

It was in fact, very good. All the food was outstanding, but the service got progressively worse. When asked what his favorite pizza was, he informed us that he tried not to eat it because it made him fat! 

The owners had obviously taken great care to ensure quality products were used in their food, the d├ęcor was deliberate and specific to their brand, and the overall ambiance was good, however the server was so untrained and so incompetent that we won't be back.

Every person in your restaurant plays a role in your customer's experience. With thoughtful attention to your process and in turn your customer, you'll ensure consistency over all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer's day


 Bill said it best a long time ago



 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 



William Shakespeare